No more playing the theme from “Jurassic Park” at American Family Field as Brent Suter runs out of the bullpen.
Suter, the longest-tenured member of the Milwaukee Brewers, an energetic fan favorite and the club’s core, was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies on Friday afternoon.
The news came about five hours before the deadline for teams to submit contracts to arbitration-eligible players, one of whom was Suter. The 33-year-old left-hander was designated for his final season of arbitration eligibility before hitting free agency, but the Brewers opted to place him on waivers rather than offer him a contract.
“It’s definitely mixed emotions,” Suter said. “I’m going to miss everything about Milwaukee and the Brewers and all of you, my teammates, my coaches, the fans and everyone. The list goes on. I’m so, so grateful for these last 11 years.
“I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better. Really, a lot of gratitude is happening right now.”
Suter, the team’s 31st-round pick in 2012, made his debut with Milwaukee in 2016 and appeared in 196 games, including 39 starts, posting 394 ⅔ innings over seven seasons. He had a 3.51 earned run average and adjusted ERA of 120, meaning his ERA was 20% better than the league average, during that span.
Just as important to Suter’s production on the field was what he did off it. An ardent environmentalist, Suter was a three-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given for community involvement and sports. He endeared himself to teammates and fans with his outgoing personality and eccentricity. He was nicknamed “The Raptor” for his humorous dinosaur-like running style.
“The Brewers family — it’s not just something they say. It’s a real thing,” Suter said. “We’ll forever be a part of that and be grateful for our time there and the relationships that were built there. That’s definitely what I’ll remember the most and hopefully I’ll continue those relationships until the day I die.”
Suter was set to earn about $3.1 million in arbitration this year, according to MLB Trade Rumors. The Rockies will be responsible for his entire salary in 2023.
“A lot of excitement for the Rockies,” Suter said. “It’s a great organization. I love playing in Denver. They have a great fan base, a really good group of guys. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the new guys. I know some of the guys from the unions and playing with them in previous years.
“Just really excited for the opportunity to be in a Rockies uniform. It’s probably going to be a little weird at first, putting on a different big league jersey after being with the Brewers my whole life, but it’s just what it’s meant to be. Really. grateful for another chance to play this game.”
The soft-throwing Suter earned huge odds to even reach the majors, considering he was a 31st-round pick out of Harvard in 2012. With Suter’s departure, Brandon Woodruff becomes the team’s longest-tenured player in a row, having invaded on August 4, 2017.
Adrian Houser made two appearances for Milwaukee in late 2015.
Outfielder Tyrone Taylor, who was drafted with Suter in 2012, is now the longest-tenured player in the organization.
“This morning I trained with Jorge López,” said Suter. “He was one of the first guys I met in pro ball getting on the bus to the Arizona Rookie League after I signed, so that triggered the nostalgia. The relationships I have with all the guys I’ve played with — the Woodys, the Tyrones, ( Freddy Peralta), (Corbin Burnes), (Christian Yelich – they will last forever.
“My time with the Brewers was incredible.”
The Brewers have 17 more arbitration-eligible players to make decisions on before Friday’s 7 p.m. deadline. CT.
Brewers settle for Adrian Houser
A year after the two sides reached arbitration, Milwaukee and starting pitcher Adrian Houser agreed to terms on a $3.6 million contract through 2023. according to a report by Robert Murray of FanSided.com.
Coming off a career year in 2021, Houser took a step back from his performance last season, pitching to a 4.73 ERA in 22 games (21 starts).
Over six seasons with the Brewers, Houser has a 3.97 ERA in 428 innings.
Houser dealt with inconsistent performance and injuries throughout 2022, seeing his percentage drop to just 15.2%, but some of the underlying numbers showed that his season wasn’t as bad as it appeared on the surface. Houser’s FIP (4.21) was actually lower than it was (4.33) when he pitched to a 3.22 ERA in 2021.
The Brewers also found themselves paying for a lack of starting depth beyond their top six arms when injuries started piling up last year, making it a relatively easy call to bring back Houser.
More:Brent Suter wrote a children’s book this year
More:Brent Suter’s logic-defying fastball is one of the slowest in baseball. It is also one of the best.
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This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers reliever Brent Suter claimed off waivers by Rockies